Price paid: $ 313
Purchased from: MusicMart
Sound — 10
I play mostly heavy metal - Metallica-type stuff. Combined with distortion from my Zoom G2, it gives some really rockin' sounds! I'm using a really terrible amp, 10-watt. But this guitar has helped me crank out some amazing sounds. It gives a very clear, bright tone because of the lone single-coil pickup, but the humbuckers ensure a lot of variety. On low gain levels, it would probably be good for bluesy stuff (I wouldn't know - I don't play blues, I'm just guessing) or classic rock. Make no mistake though: this is a metal axe. All in all, the sound far exceeds what I'd expect at this price.
Overall Impression — 10
This matches perfectly with my style. It's an excellent choice for players of all levels on a budget. I compared it with an ESP LTD EC-10 and a Greg Bennett AV3, but this took the cake for playing clarity. As I've mentioned, I'd prefer a Floyd Rose, but I have no regrets about buying it and would get another if I lost it.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I only gigged once with it, but it's stood up pretty well. I play about 4 hours a day on weekends and its stayed in top-notch condition. Strap buttons are tight, and the finish is durable. It has stayed in excellent condition in the 2 months I've had it, and seems like a durable axe.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Before I got this guitar, I'd played with a $75 Strat copy, and the action was HORRIBLE. The action on this guitar is quite simply excellent. No fret buzz, and easy for Van Halen-style tapping and metal soloing. I've mentioned that I don't know when it was made, but it looked brand new when I got it! Everything was clean and in place. Only flaw: I could see a half-centimetre of wire poking from under the pickups (very minor).
Features — 9
The Ibanez GRG170DX. One gr8 piece of equipment. I don't know when and where it was made. It's made of basswood with a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. 24 medium frets with a sharktooth inlay, FAT 10 Bridge, HSH pickup configuration with 5-way selector. The features are great for something in this price range ($300-400). Like many others have said, I would have preferred a Floyd Rose, and maybe EMG pickups, but oh well... It would have doubled the price. Overall, its features were great value for money.